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AI Bots- Why are they hardly used anymore?


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#1 emark.mark20   Members   -  Reputation: 185

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:41 AM

I'm just wondering, does anyone know why AI bots for multiplayer modes are hardly used these days? I remember during the Past generations, games like Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars Jedi Outcast, and Unreal Tournament have AI bots. These days, the only games I could think of is Gears of War and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

To me, It seems like a no brainer to make AI bots an industry standard due to the benefits. People can play offline if their internet is bad or just to practice. I cannot think of any reason to not put them in a game. Does anyone know why?

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#2 overactor   Members   -  Reputation: 198

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:12 AM

That's a good point, I don't often play multiplayer shooters, but it does seem strange that not every multiplayer shooter has them.

Especially since you largely need to program them anyway for your singleplayer campaign.


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#3 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4101

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:17 AM

For instance, if I could practice CQC with bots in Planetside 2 it would be awesome.


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#4 wizardpc   Members   -  Reputation: 282

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:33 AM

I think it's the explosion of Multiplayer online gaming.  With Game consoles having networks that "find the game for you", no one wants to play against scripted AI computers.  Games that have an MMO element certinaly is not going to have bots (though I understand your comment about training).  I think before when LAN games were popular along with Internet gaming, you found more bots because friends wanted to team up and maybe you didn't have enough players to make a 12 player match.

 

That said, At my work, we still use bots for simulations and testing (but the entire match is BOTS, no Humans are playing).



#5 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3580

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:12 PM

Even today, bots would be a fantastic feature to have. In modern shooters, it would be nice to be able to practice with the ludicrous amounts of unlockable weapons/perks/accessories (and combinations thereof) instead of getting slaughtered in multiplayer until you get a hang of them. Or to practice on a new map before facing other humans on it...

 

I stopped playing Battlefield 3 partly because the initial multiplayer learning curve was absolutely tortuous, and getting smoked by experienced players over and over just wasn't worth the eventual payoff in my mind... which could have been avoided if I had a better handle of the basic dynamics of the game by playing bots. Which is actually exactly how it worked for me in Battlefield 2.


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#6 tychon   Members   -  Reputation: 652

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:53 PM

One of the selling points for Black Ops 2 with my group of friends was that it supports AI in local multiplayer. We'll gang up on the bots or use them to fill out our teams, which makes it far more enjoyable than yet another session of 2v2 against each other. The lack of split screen and local AI support is one of the biggest reasons I've lost interest in many mainstream titles. I do happen to enjoy spending time with my friends, which seems to be a foreign concept to most games. Short of each of us bringing a console and TV with us, of course.

 

Thus one of the driving interests in game development for me. I don't know of any other way to solve it.



#7 MichaelNIII   Members   -  Reputation: 195

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:11 PM

The fps project blackout has a bot mode, as well as combat arms and I think crossfire has a mode. But its co-op only- you can't team up with the bots. However I agree i do find it annoying to not have bots to train on so you can get used to the rotation speed in the game and such. I would imagine part of the split screen disapearing is because game makers wanted to make games look stunning, and thus didn't make it so it could render with 4 cameras,

#8 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3557

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:19 AM

It's because "everone" has a decent internet connection now. Bots are not really needed anymore (sure there are exceptions, but these are, well, "exceptions" :D).


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#9 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1175

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 03:11 AM

From your title you make it sound like the whole industry is abandoning AI in games.

I just want to point out a few major games that use somewhat advanced AI for enemies:

Mass Effect series

The Elder Scrolls (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim)

Borderlands + Borderlands 2

Path of Exile (mmo-ish)

Defiance

 

There's even a mmo (or coop rpg depending on how you want to argue it) - Guild Wars 1 - that had full bots for combat (npcs you could take with you in lieu of real players)

Most other MMOs also have, if mostly simple, AIs for the enemy mobs - the AI for boss enemies is usually more complex)

 

If we're talking strictly the modern day shooters of the Battlefield, CoD, etc, then you may have a point - but I think that's a minor part of the entire gaming industry. I see those games these days as a Counter-Strike type games of quick player v player matches.

I think it's far from the truth to say that bots in general aren't used anymore.



#10 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1608

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:08 AM

I'm surprised nobody said that one reason why major FPS games don't include AI bots anymore could be to encourage people to get on-line (and since these days everything goes through their servers for the purpose of matchmaking, it can double as some sort of DRM).

 

Also probably because making a good AI bot takes effort and there aren't enough resources within the budgets to allow it (they'd rather push more budget on real multiplayer than on AI bots).


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#11 Starnick   Members   -  Reputation: 1180

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:37 AM

Team Fortress 2 has bots, actually they added bots years after the game initially came out. It's primarily for "offline training" but you can set up a live server that has bots on either team with the players. Also in the last year there has been added a game mode where its players vs bots (literally, robots..giant...freaking robots with lasers).



#12 Happygamer   Members   -  Reputation: 146

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:24 AM

I may be crazy to think this, but why isn't there an AI sort of toolkit that can used for a variety of games. Something that can start as very basic but be expanded on based on whatever unique gameplay elements the game has. It would be like the speedtree of AI.

#13 emark.mark20   Members   -  Reputation: 185

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:19 PM

From your title you make it sound like the whole industry is abandoning AI in games.
I just want to point out a few major games that use somewhat advanced AI for enemies:
Mass Effect series
The Elder Scrolls (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim)
Borderlands + Borderlands 2
Path of Exile (mmo-ish)
Defiance
 
There's even a mmo (or coop rpg depending on how you want to argue it) - Guild Wars 1 - that had full bots for combat (npcs you could take with you in lieu of real players)
Most other MMOs also have, if mostly simple, AIs for the enemy mobs - the AI for boss enemies is usually more complex)
 
If we're talking strictly the modern day shooters of the Battlefield, CoD, etc, then you may have a point - but I think that's a minor part of the entire gaming industry. I see those games these days as a Counter-Strike type games of quick player v player matches.
I think it's far from the truth to say that bots in general aren't used anymore.


Sorry I wasn't being clear, yes I am talking about Modern Day shooters in traditional multiplayer modes like team deathmatch, CTF, capturing control points, stuff like that.

#14 emark.mark20   Members   -  Reputation: 185

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:20 PM

I'm surprised nobody said that one reason why major FPS games don't include AI bots anymore could be to encourage people to get on-line (and since these days everything goes through their servers for the purpose of matchmaking, it can double as some sort of DRM).
 
Also probably because making a good AI bot takes effort and there aren't enough resources within the budgets to allow it (they'd rather push more budget on real multiplayer than on AI bots).


Hmm, good point, Guess importing the AI from single player campaigns to multiplayer bots isn't good enough...

#15 Sik_the_hedgehog   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1608

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:14 PM

Yeah, I doubt the AI would transplant even remotely well. The gameplay is different, and while the core AI functionality like pathfinding and such can stay, the actual decision choosing needs to be redone from scratch, just because the goals are completely different. There's also the fact that one expects the AI in multiplayer to behave smarter than the enemies in a single player campaign.


Don't pay much attention to "the hedgehog" in my nick, it's just because "Sik" was already taken =/ By the way, Sik is pronounced like seek, not like sick.

#16 emark.mark20   Members   -  Reputation: 185

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:44 PM

It's because "everone" has a decent internet connection now. Bots are not really needed anymore (sure there are exceptions, but these are, well, "exceptions" biggrin.png).

 

I don't know about that. There seems to be conflicting articles about people having internet.

 

Here is an article that supports you claim:

http://gigaom.com/2012/09/04/90-of-us-households-with-computers-have-broadband/

 

And here is an article that says otherwise:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/04/24/study-us-internet-speeds-still-rank-low-on-global-scale

 

Plus, you here people complaining about the rumored always online DMR on the next Xbox console, which suggests that people still don't have the internet capabilities of say.. South Korea. It's pretty ironic though, with multiplayer and social media being very popular these days, you think people would not have a problem with an always online function.

 

Disclaimer: I am one of those people who do not have high speed internet on 24/7 but do my online stuff on wi-fi hotspots. Due to these two conflicting reports, I cannot tell if I am in the minority or not.



#17 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4101

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 06:48 PM

It's because "everone" has a decent internet connection now. Bots are not really needed anymore (sure there are exceptions, but these are, well, "exceptions" biggrin.png).

 

I don't know about that. There seems to be conflicting articles about people having internet.

Specifically in my case, I have a 1mbit connection (around 100KB/s download, 20KB/s upload). I checked my ping with Planetside 2 servers and its between 230-300 ms. Which many would consider unplayable :P I can only play if absolutely no one is doing stuff in internet besides me. If someone checks Facebook or god forbid, tries to watch a YouTube video, then I'm screwed :D


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#18 MichaelNIII   Members   -  Reputation: 195

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 11:17 PM

If your internet isn't very good now a days odds are your not buying games either, or paying for memberships. So there isn't a point to catering to them because they don't have as much spare money to spend on video games.

#19 emark.mark20   Members   -  Reputation: 185

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:25 AM

If your internet isn't very good now a days odds are your not buying games either, or paying for memberships. So there isn't a point to catering to them because they don't have as much spare money to spend on video games.

I see what you are saying but Its not always that case for the general population. While we do have internet access, it goes on and off just like that. It happens sometimes in wi fi hotspots as well. We do have enough money to buy games and pay for internet but technology itself is imperfect (ie: Simcity's and Diablo 3's Launch as well as internet going on and off in general). Sadly, the U.S dosen't have the best infanstructure in the world; rural areas may not have the best internet infanstructure.

Besides, you will never know if a hurricane or a tornado destroys your internet acess. I remember while I was vacationing in long island, a storm hit the area and disrupted the internet. Random stuff happens you know and we deal with it.

Despite the tech issues, I did find a way aound it. I recieved a ipad as a surprise gift and it can play multiplayer games. I take it with me to college campus and use the Internet there to play multiplayer. I am paying for it's internet via my tuition so it makes more sense for me to play multiplayer over there than at home. There internet connection is way better than ours

#20 emark.mark20   Members   -  Reputation: 185

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:28 AM

The fps project blackout has a bot mode, as well as combat arms and I think crossfire has a mode. But its co-op only- you can't team up with the bots. However I agree i do find it annoying to not have bots to train on so you can get used to the rotation speed in the game and such. I would imagine part of the split screen disapearing is because game makers wanted to make games look stunning, and thus didn't make it so it could render with 4 cameras,


Yeah same thing with Mass effect 3's multiplayer. But I actually like Co-op play, especially couch co-op. good times on Halo 1 you know.




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